Lost Your Teenager or Young Adult to Gaming?
Are you tired of feeling confused about their addiction?
Are you frustrated that what you’ve tried before hasn’t worked?
Do you feel hopeless? Or shame that you’re a “bad parent”?
Do you just want this problem to go away?
Over the past six years I’ve helped thousands of video game addicts overcome their addiction, and in the process I’ve learned key insights in how to approach them about their problem.
Chances are, you’ve already tried countless things to help your teenager:
Here’s what you tried: You removed their devices, and took away the modem.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Your teenager throws a tantrum so intense you feared for their life. Maybe they even ran away from home. Your teenager also still needs access to the computer in order to complete their homework, so simply removing devices is only so realistic.
Try this instead: You must enrol them in the process. Taking away their access without supporting them to fill the void can be very dangerous for them. Your teenager must be part of the process!
Here’s what you tried: You told them their friends online weren’t their real friends.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Their online gamer friends are their real friends, and usually, their only friends. When you tell them to quit gaming, what they really hear is to stop having friends.
Try this instead: They need help making new friends outside of gaming. They don’t know where to start, or what to talk to people about other than gaming.
Here’s what you tried: You told them games are a waste of their potential.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Gaming is where they feel a sense of accomplishment. When you tell them games are a waste of their potential, you’re not acknowledging the incredible accomplishments they have made in their games. “I wish they fully grasped the gravity of what I’ve accomplished in games over the years…” -Rushlite
Try this instead: By being curious, and learning more about the accomplishments of your son or daughter in their games, you will build rapport with them. Rapport creates trust, and trust increases your influence.
Here’s what you tried: You just let them continue to game, giving them responsibility for their decisions.
Here’s why it didn’t work: They are unable to moderate their time. They continue to game even amongst their knowledge that gaming is negatively impacting their life. 84% of gaming addicts knew they had a problem over 12 months ago!
Try this instead: Support them in improving their time management skills. Help them create environments conducive to their ability to focus, such as bringing them to the library to study.
Here’s what you tried: You bought them their new favourite game or console.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Games are specifically designed to hook your teenager. Gaming companies use state of the art practices, and behavioural psychologists to make their games as pleasurable (and addictive) as possible.
Try this instead: By understanding more about why your teenager is drawn to games, and how games are specifically designed to hook your teenager, you will be empowered to support your teenager to have a healthy relationship to gaming (and technology).